By Bob Katzen
The House approved and sent to the Senate legislation establishing October 25 as Dwarfism Awareness Day. Supporters say that around the world people with dwarfism face social and physical barriers. They note that October 25 was chosen as the day for Dwarfism Awareness Day because it was the birthday of Billy Barty who was an American actor who had dwarfism, and in 1957 set up Little People of America—an organization that supports people with dwarfism as well as raising awareness about the issue.
Sponsor Rep. Jim Hawkins (D-Attleboro), a retired teacher from Attleboro High School, filed the measure after a request by former student Vicki Ziniti who has dwarfism. “She has organized an advocacy group of people with dwarfism and asked me about the possibility for ‘National Dwarfism Day’ in the commonwealth. Since graduating, Vicki has gotten her teaching certification and is a classroom teacher so you know we were excited to file this legislation and advocate for its passage.”
“While there may be health complications involved with dwarfism we need to treat people with dwarfism equally with others,” continued Hawkins. “This holiday will be to celebrate the significant accomplishments and contributions to our community from people with dwarfism.